Does Natural Skincare Need Preservatives? [Myth-Busting]

by | Ingredients, Myths

Myth: Natural Skincare Doesn’t Need Preservatives.

Okay, this can be controversial, but we do stand our ground on this one. There is no grey area about this. So read this carefully.

If a skincare product contains water or water-based ingredients such as aloe vera, it needs a preservative.

In fact, not only you need a preservative, you need a broad-spectrum preservative that will either kill or prevent the growth of bacteria, viruses and moulds in your product – natural, organic or otherwise.

Of course, if you are a DIY guru and make your own natural skincare products containing water-based ingredients in a very small quantity each time (and if you keep the unpreserved products in a fridge), then maybe you could get away with the whole preservative-free scenario. Even then, it is strongly advised that you use up your skincare products within 3 days.


Just remember, many microbial growths can’t be spotted by naked eyes.

The only exception to the rule when it comes to excluding preservatives in skincare formulations is when you are working with what we call an anhydrous formulation.

An anhydrous formulation is a product that is oil-based and contains no water-based ingredients at all.

Now, we understand you may not like the idea of having preservatives in your skincare products. But take a breath and relax, because we do have some options when working with preservatives.

There are natural preservatives that are derived from plants that we can work with to help protect our skincare products from nasty microbial attacks.

So don’t get fooled by many preservative-free claims out there. In some cases, these claims are legitimate due to the anhydrous nature of the formulation. But in many other cases, they are simply dangerous claims.

Remember, if your natural skincare products contain water or water-based ingredients just like our beautiful Fresh Face Cleansing Lotion for acne-prone skin, you would want your formulator to use a proper preservative system (preferably a natural one).

At the end of the day, no one wants to apply microbial-infested products on their skin. So in many water-based skincare products, an effective preservative system is absolutely crucial.

We hope this article has made choosing your skincare a little bit easier. Do you have a question or two about natural skincare yourself? Send us your questions and let us pull our collective brainpower together and help answer the question. 

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